Chai spiced sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting are a Christmas cookie you’ll want to bake all winter long.
Have you fallen in love with sugar cookie bars yet? Have you?
If you haven’t it’s definitely because you haven’t tried one yet. They’re chewy, they’re soft, they’re so easy to make it’s just stupid, and they’re a surefire crowd pleaser.
I mean who wouldn’t want to eat a cookie bar so soft it’s practically gushy?
My love affair with the sugar cookie bar started over the summer with these amazing sugar cookie bars with roasted strawberry buttercream.
(Tip: print that recipe now and stick it to your fridge so you can make them when strawberries come back. Or pin to your MUST BAKE board on Pinterest it if you’re higher tech than I am. . .)
These chai spiced sugar cookie bars with cream cheese frosting are my winter version of that wondrous cookie that worked its way into my heart a few months ago.
The warming cinnamon and cardamom and ginger contrast so beautifully with the sweet tang of the cream cheese frosting that one bar just won’t be enough. So you might go ahead and bake an extra batch (or two) if you intend to share.
And you’ll so want to share these! They’re an excellent addition to a Christmas cookie tray because you can make them so quickly; no dropping cookies onto baking sheets and cooling the sheets between batches. Just press them into a baking pan and you’re good to go.
If you wanted to dress these cookie bars up even more you could fold a half cup of white chocolate (or any chocolate) chips into the cookie dough after you mix in the dry ingredients.
It wouldn’t be winter at IBK if I didn’t make something (or a few somethings) with my beloved chai spices, and these chai spiced sugar cookie bars are my new favorite chai treat.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 cardamom pods, shelled and finely ground
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Small pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
- sprinkles, if desired
- Spray a 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper lightly with cooking spray. Set pan aside.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium mixing bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for 30 seconds more. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again,
- Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, taking care to scrape the dough up from the bottom of the bowl so everything is mixed properly. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookie bars for 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan, then carefully invert the cookies onto a cutting board.
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until very creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, then turn mixer to high and beat for 3 to 4 minutes. If frosting is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it to your desired consistency. Spread over the cooled cookie bars and top with sprinkles. Slice into bars and serve.
Adapted from Women of Great Taste